We are now at part 3 of our men’s health prostate blog. In our first post we talked about Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) (for a quick recap on that blog post, click here). In our second week we talked about prostatitis, which is inflammation of the prostate gland (you can review our second week’s blog post here). This week’s post is about prostate cancer. This type of cancer is the most common cancer that affects Canadian men. Statistics show that one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
While having a history of BPH does not increase the risk of getting prostate cancer, other factors such as smoking, dietary choices, environmental exposures and a history of vasectomy can. However, the symptoms can initially look similar to those of BPH, with frequent night time urination, weak urine stream, urinary hesitancy and dribbling, and sometimes blood in the urine. Prostate cancer is uncommon under the age of 50. The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is over 95% as it is a slow growing cancer.
Adjunctive naturopathic care for prostate cancer helps to identify and modify lifestyle and nutritional factors that play a significant role in the cancer’s growth. Everyone has some cancer cells growing in their bodies, and in healthy people the immune system eliminates those cells and prevents cancerous growths. Botanical medicines and nutritional supplements can enhance immune activity and have a targeted effect on reducing cancer growth. Our naturopaths keep on top of the research showing which treatments have the greatest effect for specific cancers. Depending on the stage of cancer and type of diagnosis, we may also refer for other types of integrative or naturopathic cancer care. However, like for any aspect of health, it is often the simple and foundational things like food, stress, sleep, smoking and alcohol, and exercise that stand in the way of healing, and that is where we start.